Detectorists

version

Well-known member
They've got all three seasons up on iPlayer atm, so I finally got round to watching the third. Really enjoyed it. I'd forgotten how much I liked the previous two and the general atmosphere of the whole thing. One of the few bits of English TV that doesn't make me hate England.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Never seen it but everyone says I'll love it. Someone's done a literary type zine about it

 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It was a very good programme, at first I was a little confused as to what I was watching cos people had recommended it to me as an out and out comedy and I was expecting something quite different. That can happen often but here I did find it harder to fit myself into the right groove for it, I guess cos it's quite an idiosyncratic thing. Really such an affectionate look at people that you would normally call losers I suppose that built up over the three series into something quite special. It trod quite a fine line but for me it did manage to avoid outright saccharine sentimentality - although I wouldn't be surprised to hear some disagree on that.
My friend was sharing the feted Amazon reviews of Fran Lebowitz and this one is relevant here

Metal Detector (Ace 300)
If you see an adult using a metal detector, you know something has gone terribly wrong.
He’s lost something. And I say “he”—you never see a woman with a metal detector. It’s always a man.
So he’s lost one of two things. His wedding ring. Or, more likely, his mind.
And he’s listening for beeps. He’s shut out the rest of the world. His friends. His family. He’s only focussing on . . . the beeps.
This is what happens when you have a country that’s obsessed with material wealth.
This is the last domino of American capitalism
A man with a metal detector, looking for buried treasure.

And most likely, had The Detectorists not existed I would have smiled faintly at the casual cruelty and mild wit displayed therein and moved on to the next thing that caught my eye. But having watched it, her review make me think about how there are two sides to every story and how much easier it is to generalize and dismiss a group than to take the time to understand it and the people who make it up and to realise that they are not one homogeneous undifferentiated mass. I guess it showed how successful Detectorists had been in doing the latter and how powerful it must have been that I almost felt angry that this snide US intellectual dared be so dismissive of Andy and Lance when she knew nothing about their lives and their hopes and why they chose to use metal detectors to look for buried treasure.
 

version

Well-known member
Yeah, I quickly lost sight of it being a 'weird' focus for a series once I started watching. I'm sure someone will have taken it up as a hobby now too.

I liked the mystical/supernatural current that surfaced from time to time. It's mostly quite mundane, but you get the odd intrusion that can't be explained, e.g. the monk. There's the moments where you get a glimpse of the past too, the field changing over time.

I think what I liked most about it was the mood and sense of community. There was conflict, some of it serious, but it was ultimately quite a gentle show and managed to do it without feeling like some contrived 'new sincerity' sort of thing. That final episode with everyone in the field together was such a satisfying way to end it. Nice nod to the barn scene from Witness with the gazebo too.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
it was ultimately quite a gentle show and managed to do it without feeling like some contrived 'new sincerity' sort of thing.
That was what I was trying to get at when I said it avoided sentimentality.
I think what I liked most about it was the mood and sense of community.
Me too. And in a sense, it felt that the detectoring was almost like a mcguffin - I'm not sure you can use mcguffin in that sense strictly, but what I mean is, they could have been trainspotters or I guess birdwatchers - really any kind of uncool hobby that might be perceived as attracting eccentric countryside fringe types. Of course, by using detectoring they were able to tie in things about local history and so on, so it wasn't totally arbitrary, but I do think it was secondary in importance by a long way to the relationships between the eccentric characters who were linked by their treasure hunting.
When I went to visit my girlfriend's family in Chelyabinsk in, er, probably spring I think, I remember her brother drawing attention to a load of people who were fishing on the river ice. For a certain period it is strong enough that one can stand on it, in fact, put a teepee or something there, but at the same time you can drill through the ice and fish through it. And there are groups of men who do it every year, maybe camp out there for a few days with their buddies. If Dima is to be believed the fish aren't especially tasty and they are filled with bones that make it a lot of effort to eat, the point isn't fishing, it's getting away from the family and meeting up with your mates, passing vodka around in the great outdoors. And that's totally the same thing.
That's why I found something a little spiteful in the Lebowitz quote above, it's just people doing their thing. Most people scouring the beach for treasure aren't desperately trying to get rich, they're just hobbyists of one sort, a hobby that doesn't meet the approval of the intellectual elite cos it's outside and it doesn't involve books.
That final episode with everyone in the field together was such a satisfying way to end it
It seems we are on exactly the same wavelength here cos I remember thinking that that was a beautiful scene too. I remember feeling it was in some sense a very British scene that probably was idealised and even nostalgic but in a way that was inclusive and kind. Maybe I was reading too much into it but at the time, I read it as a riposte to Brexit in the way it showed that you could celebrate a nostalgic view of Britain positively instead of in the small-minded negative way of Brexiteers that saw a zero sum game in which things could only be raised up by pushing something else down....
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Hordes, loot, bales of cocaine washing up on a beach. Don’t know what that means, akin to booty and treasure being an illusive presence in landscapes littered with the lives and artefacts of hundreds of generations of people who lived, loved and died here

As hobbies go, detectorists fuck up loads of sites. If you can be arsed, there’s a ripe UK and world market for undisclosed finds worth looking into

You sold me on the show though
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
As hobbies go, detectorists fuck up loads of sites. If you can be arsed, there’s a ripe UK and world market for undisclosed finds worth looking into
Those are the evil ones though, the guys in the show have utter contempt for them cos they spoil their good name.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Hordes, loot, bales of cocaine washing up on a beach
There is an urban myth they always tell you here about how so much used to wash up in the Azores that it was cheaper than flour and old ladies used to use it to batter their fish etc
Well, they tell you it's true but it's gotta be a myth right?
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
There is an urban myth they always tell you here about how so much used to wash up in the Azores that it was cheaper than flour and old ladies used to use it to batter their fish etc
Well, they tell you it's true but it's gotta be a myth right?

20 years ago (scuse the G)


people who find this shit round the UK always hand it in

professionally I can only applaud them now, but the old me would think “you doss cunts, sharesies and rack em up”
 

version

Well-known member
It seems we are on exactly the same wavelength here cos I remember thinking that that was a beautiful scene too. I remember feeling it was in some sense a very British scene that probably was idealised and even nostalgic but in a way that was inclusive and kind. Maybe I was reading too much into it but at the time, I read it as a riposte to Brexit in the way it showed that you could celebrate a nostalgic view of Britain positively instead of in the small-minded negative way of Brexiteers that saw a zero sum game in which things could only be raised up by pushing something else down....
Yeah, it's important the club was diverse and it wasn't just a portrait of a bunch of straight, white people secluded away in the countryside. That could quite easily have led to people latching onto the show for the wrong reasons.
 
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